A Travellerspoint blog

By this Author: semitte

Autumn in New England (Part II)

This is a continuation from Part I. We've just left Vermont....

Massachusetts Bound

From there we drove south toward Massachusetts. Along the way, we saw this very cool little gallery just south of Bennington. I found the most awesome little clock there, and I really wanted to buy it, but I just couldn't bring myself to pay for that "piece of art", so I passed. I find myself still thinking about it, so who knows...

We drove into Williamstown, Massachusetts, which was the location of Williams College (founded in 1793). It was a beautiful stately old school in a neat little college town. I found out later that it's considered the top-ranked liberal arts school in the U.S. We started driving east toward Boston along Route 2, which is called the Mohawk Trail. It was a very picturesque drive going up and down mountains and valleys, a lot of the time following the Deerfield River. It was a very nice drive.
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(By the way, we didn't just HAPPEN across all these scenic drives. I did some internet research before we left to find out wher ethe most scenic drives were).

We Pahked the Cah in Boston

OK, we finally made Boston. We found a little motel in Cambridge, just about a half mile from the subway station, so that worked out well. As soon as we checked in, we hopped on the subway and got off at the Boston Commons. The Commons, and the adjacent Boston Gardens, are basically a huge park in the middle of the downtown area. The Commons was established in 1634 (!) as part of the layout for the original city. We decided to walk around the old Beacon Hill neighborhood adjacent to the Commons. This neighborhood contains a lot of old homes and churches; the location of one of the first abolitionist organizations; Acorn Street, a skinny cobblestone passageway which they say (arguably) is the "most photographed street in the world"; the State House, which is the current state capital building; and finally, the Bull and Finch Pub, better known on the outside as the entrance to TV's Cheers Bar.
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From there, we discovered what is called the "Freedom Trail." This is a trail throughout the city that is either painted red or composed of red brick that takes you past all the various historic sites. We passed by some more old churches, by a couple of old cemeteries (yes, right in the middle of downtown), the famed Faneuil Hall (which has been a Boston marketplace since 1742), the old State House (which is now the entrance to a subway station), and over to the North End where you find the Old North Church (where Paul Revere rode from). One of the cemeteries, the Granary Burial Ground, contains the remains of John Hancock, Samuel Adams, Robert Paine, and Paul Revere, among other famous people.

As we came around the corner walking toward Faneuil Hall, we saw thousands of people gathered at City Hall.
Northeast_227.jpg Come to find out, there was a rally taking place to cheer on the Red Sox, who had just won the division championship. We went down there for a while, but there were tons of people, and we couldn't hear very well, so we went on.

Time to Eat Again!

We started walking down toward the Financial District, and were getting hungry, so I stopped a lady on the street to ask if she was from Boston and where she thought we should go eat. She said she was formerly from Boston, but now lived in Sicily and was just there in town for a convention. She said we definitely had to go over to the North End, where there were some good Italian restaurants (should I have expected anything less from this Sicilian??) ;-) We started walking over that way, but wasn't sure exactly where to go, so I stopped another person, who told us to go to Hanover Street. I asked, "Are there some good Italian restaurants over there?" He laughed and said, "Yes, you won't believe it." I didn't quite understand the enormity of that response until we got over there. I have never seen so many Italian restaurants congregated in one area in my life (not even in Italy!). We found out later that in the North End, there are about 300 restaurants, with most of those being Italian. You just walk up and down the streets and alleys in this area that's about a half-mile square, and they line the streets, one after the other. It was difficult to decide which one to go into, but we did make a decision -- and it was a good one. Mama mia! The food was-a so good!!

As we were talking with the waitress there (who was from the state of Washington), she told us that after dinner we absolutely had to walk down the street to Mike's Pastry for dessert (she didn't even seem concerned with selling us dessert from the restaurant). The people who were sitting behind us turned around and concurred with that decision (!), and that lady said that we just had to have a chocolate chip cannoli. Well, we walked over to Mike's and it was absolutely crammed full of people -- people at all the tables, people spilling out onto the sidewalk, multiple taxis driving by dropping people off -- I've never seen such a commotion!
Northeast_035.jpg So we went in and stood in line for quite a while, but finally I got my chocolate chip cannoli!! Yummmm!!! It was enjoyable to eat the Italian pastry, but more enjoyable to just be a part of this cultural phenomenon!

JFK Library and Museum

The next morning we rode the subway down to the JFK Library and Museum. Just a side note -- when you get off at that subway stop, you have to then ride a shuttle bus over to the Museum. When we started getting on the bus, I noticed the license plate -- it was "666". Yikes!! Who was driving this bus and where was he taking us?? ;-O
Northeast_003.jpg Well, we did make it to the Library after all (whew!). First we walked around to the back of the building where they had JFK's sailboat. There was also a great view of Boston Harbor and downtown. Then we went inside. I will say that it was interesting, but it was, in my opinion, mostly "fluff." When we had visited Truman's Library in Missouri, we were very impressed. But this one didn't have too much substance to it. It seemed to us that a good part of it was about Jackie and how she classed up the White House. I'm glad we went, but were a little surprised by what we saw.

More Boston Adventures

We took the subway back over and got off at Newbury Street, which is full of trendy little shops, art galleries, and restaurants. After a while, we walked back up toward the Commons. We decided from there to take the trolley out to Boston College. The trolley ride took probably an hour, winding through all the Boston, Brookline and Cambridge neighborhoods. By the time we got there, it was starting to get dark, so we weren't able to see the campus under optimum conditions. However, we could still see that it was a very beautiful campus. We got back on the trolley and headed back. It was getting near dinner time by then, so we couldn't resist walking over to the North End again and dealing again with the difficult challenge (!) of which Italian restaurant to choose! ;-) And, do I even need to say it?? Yes, we went to Mike's Pastry again! ;-)

When we rode the subway back to the motel area, we still had to walk the half-mile back to the motel. It was probably about 10:30 when we walked up, and we started seeing lots of people stepping outside the motel. We thought maybe a busload of people just came in or something. When we got closer, we heard the motel fire alarm sounding, and realized that many of these people were walking outside in their robes and jammies. Soon we had two firetrucks and the fire chief's car coming in the driveway. Of course, I and one other woman whipped out our cameras to record all the fun. Thankfully, it ended up being a false alarm, but it did lend some excitement to the end of the day!

Overall, we loved our time in Boston. It had a lot of personality, the people were extremely friendly and helpful, there was a good mix of modern and historic, and of course, there's the North End!

Brain Power

As we left the next morning, we drove over to the Harvard University campus. I went over there with a vision in my mind of what I'd see, but it was nothing like that. The campus is very spread out and interwoven around a packed little downtown area. There were some old buildings and some new buildings, but to me, it didn't really have an identity. It just seemed crowded and confusing. I didn't even get a picture of it because there was no "it" to take a picture of. It was surprising to me. From there, within a couple of miles, is the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Again, it was underwhelming. The one thing that did occur to me as being significant is imagining all the brain power in that two-mile radius. But other than that, hmm......

A Picture of a Rock??

We went on down the road, heading to Plymouth. When you drive over to the beach area in Plymouth, there are people (and buses) everywhere. But lo and behold, over on the sand in a little fenced-off area, is an actual rock, maybe about three feet across, with "1620" engraved on it. And everyone (including myself) is taking a picture of this rock -- kinda funny, actually.
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A few yards away is the "Mayflower II." Some 50 years ago this replica of the original Mayflower was built using the original blueprints and by shipbuilding standards in place in the 1600's. It then retraced its original route across the Atlantic to its present position. It was interesting to see just how small that ship was (only 106' long and 25' wide), and to imagine that 102 passengers rode together for 65 straight days on this thing! That whole beach area is an obvious tourist trap, but I am glad I got to connect to that part of our history.

We had planned to go on down the coast and out to Cape Code and Martha's Vineyard. The weather while we were in Boston had been perfect, but that day, it was very hazy and overcast. We figured that it was a pretty long drive out there and back, and we probably wouldn't be able to see anything once we got out there. So we decided to leave that venture until the next time we go to Boston.

Don't Blink or You'll Miss It

We then headed for Providence, Rhode Island, only about 30-40 miles from Boston. As soon as we crossed the state line, it seemed to have a different look and feel. I told Michael that I thought it looked kinda "Rhode Islandish" (of course, he had a good time with that one). I'm not sure how to define that term, but it just looked like a sea-faring town with clapboard houses and sailboats.

The 49th State

We drove through Rhode Island (which is only about 37 miles across -- weird, huh??), and into Connecticut. I was excited because that was finally my 49th state. I've now been in every state in the U.S. except for Alaska (I told Michael that he'll have to take me on an Alaskan cruise someday). We headed along the coast, then into New Haven, where we went over to the Yale campus. It was also pretty spread out, but prettier than Harvard, and the area around it wasn't as crazy.

Out of New Haven, we drove north, then east, heading for New York again. Along the way, we passed several horse farms. We could definitely tell there was money out there. We got to Kingston, New York, and spent the night there.

The Beautiful Catskills

The next morning, we headed westward through the Catskill Mountains. I don't know if it was the terrain, or the passing of another week, but this area was the most beautiful yet as far as fall colors. Every curve of the road brought new ooh's and ahh's.
Northeast_104.jpg Again, we had the top down and were just enjoying every mile. Besides the colorful trees, we also saw lots of farms, rolling hills, and emerald green pastures. The road wasn't as crowded, so we were able to stop several times and take some good pictures. You can see them on my photosite. We both decided that overall, New York was the prettiest state we went through.

Our next destination was Ithaca. As we approached the town, we drove under an overpass. What we didn't realize until too late is that they were working on that overpass, and were using a water truck in the process. So as we drove under the edge, a bunch of water just fell down on us! Fortunately, it mostly hit the windshield, but we certainly got wet too. Ah, the perils of driving with the top down! ;-)

The Nicest Campus Yet

We headed over to Cornell University. This was probably the most beautiful campus we had seen the entire trip. The buildings and grounds were beautiful, and the whole place felt very serene. We went over to one part of the campus where there was a footbridge. As we walked out on it, we found that it overlooked a gorge and a little river that were probably about 150 feet down. That was a surprise.
Northeast_110.jpg When we left the campus and got away from it maybe 3-4 miles, I could look back and see that the whole campus was built on a big ridge, and that's what the gorge was cutting into. It looked like pictures I've seen of the Greek Parthenon sitting up on a hill. It was quite impressive.

Finger Lakes

We went north from there heading toward Seneca Falls, and driving along the big Cayuga Lake, one of New York's "Finger Lakes." There's a series of about seven sizable lakes and other smaller lakes in that area, all long and skinny like fingers. After we got up to Seneca Falls, we drove over to Geneva, then down the other side of another of the Finger Lakes, Seneca Lake. It was bigger yet. This part of the state is definitely its "bread basket." We passed lots of farms, crops, vineyards and wineries. It was a nice drive.

Heading Home

From there, we headed back down to Scranton, Pennsylvania, where we spent the night. And the next day, we headed home. What a wonderful trip -- one that I've wanted to make for probably decades! We ended up putting about 3250 miles on my little bug, which increased my total miles by over half! Near the end of the trip, my odometer passed 10,000 miles. Not bad for a 2-year-old car! :-)

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Well, guess what? We've finished the planned portion of our travels and this is the end of my blog! :-( We will certainly make other trips in the months and years to come, since we are so centrally located to just about everything; but this is the end of the journey that we had originally planned.

I've certainly enjoyed sharing my journey with you. I'm now sitting here at my desk, looking out the window at the squirrels and the falling leaves, and ready to start settling into my new life as a Southern Girl. Our home is certainly open to anyone reading this, so if you ever venture to Tennessee, y'all come see us now, y'hear!
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Posted by semitte 13:27 Comments (0)

Autumn in New England (Part I)

We've finished all our traveling now, so I wanted to update you all on our adventures. I have so much I want to tell you that I had to split it up into two segments.

Music and Theater

When I last blogged, we were on our way to Louisville, Kentucky, for the Southern Gospel Music Convention. We spent three days in Louisville and had a great time --every evening from 6pm to midnight there was group after group singing their hearts out, and doing an incredible job! We probably saw over 40 different groups. It was awesome.

We were home for about a week (during which time Michael continued to rip wallpaper off!), then we headed up to Lancaster, Pennsylvania to the Sight and Sound Theater. We were staying only one night there, so we decided to just drive the Bug up. The weather was nice, so we were able to put the top down and enjoy the drive.

We drove up on my birthday and got to Lancaster in time for dinner. When we asked the hotel guy where we should go, he quickly said the Shady Maple Smorgasbord (a guy in line behind us agreed). He said that it was about a 40-minute drive, but well worth it. He added that on your birthday, you get a free dinner, so that cinched the deal! ;-) When we got there, we couldn't believe how big this place was! It was a big convention center, gift shop, restaurant -- I'm not sure what else may have been there -- and it was very grand. The restaurant was a buffet, and they did it up right. That night was seafood night, and they had everything you could think of -- shrimp, scallops, salmon, catfish, you name it. The buffet line was about 200 feet long (really!) and was loaded for bare. Needless to say, we left there miserable, but what a way to go! ;-)

The next day we went to a noon matinee at the Theater. This theater is incredible! Northeast_002.jpg
It's a first-class operation that produces original Christian plays. It seats thousands of people (!), and there's about 300 feet of stage -- 200 feet along the front and about 50 feet on each side. The stage was lavishly furnished and was truly a sight to behold. The play that we saw was called "In The Beginning," and there were some amazing special effects, as you could imagine. I've wanted to go ever since I heard of this Theater (about 10 years ago), so I'm glad to have finally had the opportunity. I would highly recommend it to anyone.

Getting Ready for New England

We intended to wait a couple of weeks before going up into New England, like maybe into the first week of October. However, I had subscribed to a couple of blogs from folks up there who do fall foliage reports, and a couple had indicated that the fall colors were already coming in. So we decided to leave a few days earlier (it's nice to have such flexibility!).

We had given some thought to what this trip would look like -- lots of winding country roads, suddenly appearing roadside stands, not a lot of campgrounds, not knowing where we would be at the end of any given day -- so we decided to drive the Bug again on this trip and stay in motels. It proved to be a good decision, not just for those reasons I just stated, but also expense-wise. My Bug gets about 26-27 mpg, while the pickup with the camper gets about 12, plus the price of fuel for my car runs around $2.69/gal vs. $3.10 for diesel for the pickup. The fuel savings alone more than paid for the motel rooms.

Heading North

We started up through Virginia and decided to take the alternate route of the Blue Ridge Parkway. This parkway runs along a big ridge (hence the name!) and goes up to aboe 3500 feet. You can see valley on both sides. It was great "convertible driving", so we put the top down and put in some groovy tunes, like the Footloose soundtrack and the Beach Boys (yeah, I know, I'm dating myself).

After several miles of swerving back and forth, we jumped back on the freeway and ended up spending the night in Parsippany, New Jersey (I love that name) -- it's only about 20 miles west of New York City. The next morning we headed out to drive up the Hudson Valley. We drove along the Hudson River (which is very wide) and drove through a lot of quaint little suburbs like Nyack and Haverstraw. I was struck by the fact that one doesn't have to go very far from NYC to live in the suburbs and have a "regular" house. There were a lot of cool old cemeteries along the way, which is something I found on this entire trip. And here's an interesting factoid -- I saw several fire stations called a "hose company."

Historic West Point

About 40 miles up the road, we stopped at West Point Academy. It was beautiful and classic and steeped in history and tradition, and it had an extraordinary view overlooking the Hudson River. We had to ride a bus into the campus, after showing our ID, and a tour guide took us around and explained everything. I was surprised at how much security was in place. Afterward, we went into the West Point Museum, which was also very interesting.
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I didn't realize that the original Gilbert Stuart painting of George Washington was there. Also in there were Washington's pistols, stuff belonging to MacArthur and Eisenhower, and much more. I didn't so much get the feel that I was looking at U.S. military stuff as much as U.S. history.

We ate lunch in Marlboro, New York, at a little Greek diner. We had just eaten in one also the day before in Parsippany, and as the trip progressed, we realized they're everywhere. This isn't a chain or anything, and they're not even owned by the same person. This is just an "eastern thing" -- a diner owned by a Greek family, with lots of good food, and lots of chrome. This isn't the kind of chrome diner like you'd imagine one from the 50's looking like, but chrome installed with the intent to look classy. Also, everything you order comes with cole slaw and a pickle spear. It was an interesting cultural thing that I hadn't seen before, and as the trip progressed, we felt very comfortable stopping when we saw one of these diners.

Observations and Experiences

As we continued up the Hudson Valley, we saw lots of pumpkin and apple stands (again, something that we would see all through the northeast). At one point going up the road, we found ourselves in some clogged traffic, then three different ambulances passed us. As we finally got the the accident site, we saw a couple of smashed cars. But one of them had either driven into or was pushed into a roadside stand, and there were pumpkins and apples and mums thrown everywhere. It looked like something you would see in a movie, when someone has a dramatic crash.

Here's something that I found funny. When we got to the town of Ulster, we saw a bowling alley called the "Hoe Bowl." Sorry to be tacky, but my first thought was, "Yeah, you should see the women that go in there!" (OK, just thought I'd share). ;-)
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Just north of Schenectady (I love that name too), we ran into a torrential thunder storm -- the rain was coming down in buckets and we could hardly see. We had planned to go a little farther, but we decided that maybe we should go ahead and just find a place for the night. We went into a gas station to fill up, and of course, I had to go to the restroom. While I was in there, the lights went out (that was exciting -- not!). I hurried up at that point when someone was yelling "Everyone out!" They had lost all power -- to the lights and gas pumps -- and just wanted everyone out. It affected the entire street. I haven't seen a storm like that since we lived in Texas.

Continuing North

The next morning, everything was clear, and we headed north. I wanted to take a detour through Pottersville and Schroon Lake. Our son Matt went to Word of Life Bible Institute there about ten years ago, and I had never seen it, so I thought better late than never. We got off the highway at Pottersville for breakfast, and asked the waitress where WOL was -- she didn't know. I thought, oh well, we'll see it or a sign to it, so we started driving north toward Schroon Lake. We saw the WOL Ranch, the WOL Island, and the WOL Inn, but we never did see the actual school. Finally, on up the road at the Inn, I asked someone where the school was, and she said it was about ten miles back (very close to the restaurant). UGH! We didn't want to drive all the way back, so I never go to see it. But at least I saw what the area looked like, where my boy spent a year of his life.

We drove over to the historic town of Ticonderoga so we could drive north along Lake Champlain (which was huge). Here are some random observations as we continued north: we saw several apple orchards, with trees full of deep red apples; we saw lots of pine trees which were right next to marshes -- kind of an interesting phenomenon, I thought; we passed several logging trucks; there were again lots of old cemeteries; and in the little town of Port Henry, I saw a building with two doors -- over one door it said Walt's Propane, and over the other Walt's Used Cars (I thought that was funny); we also passed through the little town of Wadham, and their city limit sign said "Wadham!" -- although after driving through it, I couldn't really see what the "!" was about. ;-)

Bonjour Montreal

We got to the Canadian border. Fortunately, I had remembered to bring our passports because you need to have them now to get into Canada (or Mexico). We then drove the few miles up to Montreal. Since we were just winging it on motel rooms, we were lucky to find a little inexpensive motel outside of Montreal. The room reminded me of some we saw in Europe, very different from most American motels. I hadn't realized that the city of Montreal is entirely on an island, surrounded by the St. Lawrence River. There are just a series of bridges to get into the city. The thing I DID realize is that, being in Quebec, this place was definitely French. But I thought that, being a Canadian border town, they would have a lot of signs, etc. in both French and English. No. Everything was just in French -- I really felt like we were in France again. It was fine though, since I speak and read French, but it was just a surprise. We found out, after talking to a waiter, that it's a provincial law that everything just be in French. They are FIERCELY concerned about the preservation of the French language there.

We rode the subway into Montreal (there was a station not far from our motel), and just started walking around. There were some pretty old churches and other buildings. Also downtown, they have block after block of underground shopping -- -perfect for those bone-chilling winter days. We stopped and ate at a little garden terrace restaurant, and had the best crepes ever! Outside the restaurant there was a guy playing the accordion for tips.
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Like I said, I felt like I was in France again. After that, we jumped on the subway and rode over to the Olympics Plaza (remember, the Summer Olympics was there in 1976). They have now converted much of that area into an indoor zoo (we didn't go in, though).
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Then we walked from there to the Botanical Garden. This was the best part of Montreal. They have the best Botanical Garden I've ever seen. I'm not sure how many acres are there, but it seems to go on forever. I read that it's one of the largest in the world. It's definitely a treasure.

Back to the Good Ol' U.S.A.

We left Montreal by a different route. We went east, then south, so we could enter the U.S. by way of Vermont. Again, we had to show our passports, and I will say that the interrogation was much more fierce coming into the U.S. than into Canada. The gal even wanted to search our trunk. (Do we really look like terrorists??). Oh well. I'm glad that they're paying special attention to these things, at least.

We drove down the other side of Lake Champlain, through Burlington, then down through Vermont's capital city, Montpelier (remember that name from 5th grade geography??).
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It was a very quaint little town of about 8,000 people sitting in the Green Mountains. I guess I'd never thought of a state capital consisting of so few people. I was wondering how they had enough population to fill all the government jobs. It was about 57 degrees, but we put the top down and our jackets on, and enjoyed the drive through the Green Mountains.

I saw a sign outside of Montpelier (and several throughout the trip) designating that the area was a Moose Crossing, but darn it, I never did see a moose!

Already in New Hampshire

After driving through the mountains, we entered New Hampshire (you go from state to state pretty quickly up there). We had lunch in Littleton out on a deck overlooking a river, next door to an old grist mill. It was very pretty. After that we passed through the town of Bethlehem. I noticed on their sign that they were established on December 25, 1799. I wondered whether the town name was a last minute decision based on the date, or whether they had planned it that way from the beginning.

We drove through the forests of the White Mountains in northern New Hampshire and saw all the colors you could imagine -- orange, purple, yellow, red, green -- but the most striking feature we saw were mile after mile of white-barked birch trees. Out in the west, you might see three birch trees in someone's yard, but I've never seen that many at one time. Imagine the contrast of the white bark against all those colored leaves. I saw so many pretty scenes, although it was usually difficult on those curvy mountain roads (and with the other cars) to just stop and take a picture. I got a lot of pictures (which you can see on my photosite), but I really didn't get a good picture of these beautiful birches. :-(

We passed by Mt. Washington, the highest point in New Hampshire at 6288 feet. There were several ski runs along the way. We also came upon a little apple cider roadside establishment where we just HAD to stop for some cider donuts (I had read that that was a MUST while visiting New England). And yes, they were as good as they sound. We bought some coffee and traveled through the colors eating our donuts, all with the top down and our jackets on (ok, and the heater on by that point). That was definitely an AHHHH moment!

Maine Already?

Again, we were through the north part of New Hampshire pretty quickly, then we entered into Maine. We drove for miles along a very picturesque stream, and then headed for Portland, Maine. OK, what's the one thing you have to do when you go to Maine?? Yep, eat some Maine lobster! (Hmmm, do you notice a trend here? Scenery and food?? Oh well, works for me!!) ;-)

We went down on the waterfront in Portland, and I saw a couple walking toward us. I asked them if they were from that area, and they said yes, so I asked them where the best place was to get the real meal deal. We didn't want fancy, just good. So they directed us to this little "joint" (yes, that's the best word for it). They happened to have a special on two whole lobsters, with all the fixin's, so that was just perfect. And yes, they brought out the whole thing, head, guts and all. Excuse me, it's not called the "guts", it's called the "tamale". Many people eat that green mushy stuff, so I thought I would try it. After all, I like tamales, right? One taste, and I decided to pass. But we did enjoy ripping apart and eating the rest of those little critters!
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The next day, we drove over to the little town of Freeport. We went there because that's the location of the flagship store of L. L. Bean, but the whole downtown area has been transformed into this trendy little shopping area. The L. L. Bean was huge, as would be expected. Michael wanted to buy a new hat, but he had to pass on this furry LLB one.
Northeast_172.jpg So we went down the street and he bought one from the "Mangy Moose." We ate lunch in Freeport, and had some seafood chowder (or should I say "chowdah") and also a lobster roll (also a must-have in New England --basically a lobster meat sandwich). Yum!!

Let's Do It One More Time

Now we were going to "ribbon" back across the states, so we headed back toward New Hampshire, this time across the southern part of the state. We took a detour out of the cute little town of Portsmouth, and drove along the beach for a while. Of course, the Atlantic Ocean was very calm -- hardly a wave.
Northeast_179.jpg There were both old and new mansions all along the beach, but instead of them being directly on the beach like it is often in the West, they were on the other side of the road from the beach. That makes for a better drive!

Here's an observation -- we never saw a Wal-Mart until Manchester, New Hampshire. Interesting! I guess they're NOT everywhere after all!

We headed across the state to the little college town of Keene. Very cute. They had a Borders there, so Michael was able to use his gift card that he got for Christmas and bought four new Blues CD's. They made for a nice addition to the trip.

After staying the night in Brattlesboro, Vermont, on the east side of the state, we headed over to Bennington, which is on the west side of the state (yes, that sounds like a long drive, but on the southern end, the state is only about 40 miles wide!). I'd always wanted to see Bennington College, since I remembered that for years they were the most expensive college in the country (I found out that right now they're only the 7th most expensive, at over $46,000 a year). I wanted to see what that looked like -- yet I left still not knowing. I was not impressed, and I can't figure out why they were so expensive. Hmm, unsolved mystery. I guess some people just have extra money they need to get rid of.

(To be continued in Part II....)

Posted by semitte 19:12 Comments (0)

Cross Country Part II

It was so much fun the first time, let's do it again!

Well, we made our second trip across the country, and I'm just now coming up for air in order to update this blog!

Medford Bound

We were excited to fly out of here and head for Medford. Actually, we flew into Sacramento (the rates were a lot cheaper), and Mike's sister Barbara and her husband drove down to pick us up. Of course, the first thing we had to do is drive over to Woodland and eat at our favorite Mexican restaurant, El Charro. After all my rantings in my last blog about the lack of good Mexican food out here, you can imagine our pleasure! The 5-hour drive back to Medford went by quickly as we yakked all the way! ;-)

The next day, Mike went over to storage and got out my little Bug Convertible. Oh, how I had missed my little car! I was happy to put the top down and drive around Medford (God did us a favor and caused the weather to be perfect while we were there!).

Since I was going to be singing on the Worship Team on Sunday, I had arranged to go over to the church Thursday afternoon to practice with my buds Linda, Cindy and Lucy. Wow, as soon as we started singing together, I felt like I was home again! Everyone (including myself) remarked that it didn't even seem like I had been gone. It was so good to be with those girls!

On Saturday evening, we were invited over to the home of our good friends Peggy and Perry Atkinson. Medford_visit_012.jpgAlso invited were Trevor and Krystle, Linda, and Dave and Jenna. Perry barbecued (yum) and we all just had a great time talking, laughing and enjoying each other.
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Sunday was great, being back at church. It was enjoyable to be up there with the Worship Team, and it was good to see everyone. After church, I went by to see my former assistant, Lynda, to see how she was doing and to catch up on all the scuttlebutt at the office (so I was prepared before my visit to the office on Tuesday).

Sunday evening we got to see Dave and Jenna again as Barbara had invited them over for dinner. Medford_visit_014.jpg
We had a great time visiting with them.

Late Tuesday evening, I went to the airport to pick up Matt and Avery -- yes, at the last minute it was decided that little 20-month-old Avery would accompany us across the country! Matt didn't get too much rest, because first thing Wednesday morning he had to join the others in packing up the TWO 26' moving trucks (yes, we have WAY too much junk!). We had two professional guys in the mix, and with those two and four others, they actually had the trucks loaded up by mid-day.
tennessee_trip_030.jpgWe decided that instead of waiting until Thursday morning to leave, we would go ahead and leave Wednesday afternoon. We went and ate at Si Casa Flores (yes, Mexican food once more!), then we headed out. Our goal was Winnemucca (now there's a lofty goal, eh?).
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Heading East

Boy, the trip through the high desert of eastern Oregon and into Nevada was pretty boring. I was amazed at how many people actually CHOOSE to live in Winnemucca! Right before we got to Winnemucca -- it was already dusk -- we had to suddenly slow down for six wild burros that had gotten themselves stuck on the highway. They found themselves wanting to go where there was a guard rail in the way, so they were very confused. It was cool to see them so up close and personal, but I felt kinda sorry for them. I was afraid that they were so determined to go that direction that they would just jump over the guard rail into the ravine below (do burros actually jump that high?). I couldn't help but think that we're a lot like them. Sometimes we get so focused in one direction that we can't see other options.

We stayed the night in Winnemucca, then headed eastward -- through more desert! We drove through the Bonneville Salt Flats (very interesting -- white flats as far as the eye can see), and drove by a lot of the Great Salt Lake. It's amazing how desolate it is through there. It's said that the only people that go visit there are the tourists, mainly because with all that stale water, it's stinky! (We smelled it even through the closed windows). I read that since it has no outflow (kinda like the Dead Sea), it's about 37% salt, compared with about 5-6% in the ocean.

We passed through Salt Lake City again (the last time we were going from south to north, this time from west to east), and on up through Park City (a very pretty, very exclusive skiing area). We spent the second night in Evanston, Wyoming, just past the Utah border.

So How's Avery Doing?

I haven't commented yet on how Avery's been doing -- he did extraordinarily well! He was content for about 99% of the trip (and the other 1% wasn't really that bad). Of course, lots of crunchy goldfish helped!! And so did the new-toy-of-the-day I brought out for him each morning!! Also, Matt had brought along a small personal DVD player, as well as Avery's favorite movies. There was a slot above the windshield that the player fit into perfectly, so we played the movies while he sat back in his chair and watched. Oh, if you're wondering what Avery's favorite movies are, they are Little Mermaid (aka "Muh-may"), and Lion King (aka "Ly-uh"). We could always count on those movies at least taking up a good couple of hours each day, although usually more than that, since he loved repeated showings. By the way, I now have those two movies just about memorized! ;-)
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Wyoming, Nebraska, Iowa and Missouri

From Evanston, we headed east through Wyoming and into Nebraska, where we spent the third night in North Platte. By the way, we ate Mexican food in North Platte that evening. That was every bit as exciting as eating it in Kingsport!

On Saturday, we drove east through Nebraska -- actually from Ogalalla to Lincoln (about 275 miles) was the only section of this drive that we had already been on during the first trip across. The only difference was, this time the corn was higher! We turned at Lincoln toward Nebraska City, traveled about 9 miles through Iowa, then into Missouri. We passed through Kansas City again (last time south to north, this time west to east), and spent the night in Boonville, Missouri.

This stop worked out very well. As you may recall, my dad lives in Bolivar, Missouri, which is about a couple of hours from Boonville. So my dad and Lanna drove up there Sunday morning to have breakfast with us. This was a special visit because they had never met Avery, and they hadn't seen Matt in several years. We had a great breakfast in a little diner in beautiful downtown Boonville (!), and afterward walked over to the little park next door, which was on the banks of the Missouri River. We got to visit for probably a couple of hours -- it was an enjoyable time.
Here's a nice four-generation picture.tennessee_trip_069.jpg

Missouri, Illinois, Kentucky and Tennessee

After the visit, we headed out toward St. Louis -- it was good to see the Arch again (after probably 20 years), and to drive across the Mississippi River. Then we lopped off the southwest corner of Illinois, and the western corner of Kentucky, and ended up spending the fifth night in Clarksville, Tennessee (almost home!).

The sixth and final day had us traveling from Clarksville, through Nashville, and on into Kingsport. We made it in at about 2:00 in the afternoon. Whew! You know, if we didn't have Avery along, and hadn't stopped to see Dad, we probably could have driven long hours and made it in about four days; but I'm glad we didn't do that. We had shortened the days so as to not make it too tiring for Avery (ok, Gramma benefited too), but those six days actually went by pretty fast. Matt and I had some good visiting time, I got to be with Avery 24/7, and we went swimming several evenings at the various motels. Overall, the trip was about 2750 miles, but it wasn't bad at all.

Time to Unpack

The next day was unpacking day. Again, we had a couple of professionals help out (a good idea), and then Michael and Matt. We were hoping that Scott and the boys' dad Ron would be able to come over and help too, but because of work obligations, Scott was not able to come. So Ron came over by himself so he could see Matt and Avery anyway. It was a good thing he came. I ended up needing to be available to the movers to tell them where to put things, so Ron ended up just taking care of Avery all day. That worked out well. Ron got to spend some quality time with Avery, and I don't think I could have handled both Avery and the movers at the same time.

We just put the bare essentials in the house in order to get by; we put all the boxes-o-junk in the finished basement; then the rest of the furniture etc. went to a storage shed until we're ready for it. Michael had decided that while he's remodeling the house, he didn't want all our stuff in the way and potentially getting damaged.

So here we are. Michael has resumed taking the wallpaper off (will it ever end??), and now tearing up a bathroom. We've been making daily trips to both Home Depot AND Lowes (they'll know our names soon), and I'm keeping a spreadsheet of our expenditures (yes, I DO keep spreadsheets on just about everything!). ;-)

AS USUAL, I HAVE LOTS MORE GREAT PICS OF THIS TRIP, AND OF COURSE AVERY, ON MY PHOTO SITE (CLICK HERE).

More Adventures Ahead

We're heading out Monday to go to the National Gospel Music Convention in Louisville, Kentucky, then after that, we're heading over to Lancaster, Pennsylvania to the Sight and Sound Theater for my birthday. We're coming home after that for maybe a couple of weeks before heading to the Northeast. We realized we're still early with the leaves changing up there, so we're going to head up that way around the first of October.

I'll keep you posted.

Posted by semitte 09:49 Comments (1)

Kingsport Adventures

sunny

Well, I said I wasn't going to write again until after our trip to Medford, but I changed my mind! (That's my prerogative, right??). I just wanted to let you know about some of our adventures while we've been waiting around in Kingsport for our house.

Fun Fest

We found out that THE big shindig in Kingsport is the annual Fun Fest, so we had to go. They have 10 days of activities, like the Mardi Gras Festival (here's a picture of Michael catching beads for me)
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and the big Fun Fest Parade (you gotta love those local parades!)Fun_Fest_008.jpg

There was also various concerts, including the Gospel Concert, which featured a good local group, the Squire Parsons Trio, and The Collingsworth Family. The C Family was amazing! There's a mom and dad and four kids, all of which are tremendously talented. There was also a concert by the Charlie Daniels Band, followed by fireworks.

They also had free viewings of some of the local tourist attractions, like the Allandale Mansion (a huge historic home), and the Netherland Inn. The Inn is about a mile from our house, and was built in the 1700's. It was an inn and boatyard (with the slave quarters out back) for those passing through, either by land or by the Holston River. I think it's pretty cool to have a 300-year-old inn in my backyard!

There were a lot of other activities going on over those 10 days, and I'm glad the timing was such that we got a good intro to Kingsport that way.

Crabbs, Dalton, and Other Southern Stuff

For those of you who are not familiar with the Crabb Family, they are an incredibly talented group of 5 siblings who sing southern rock/gospel/eclectic music. They had announced last year that this was their final year being together. They're in their 20's and 30's and have families and other stuff, so they're going to do their own thing, which is sad for the music world, but necessary for them. Their final full concerts were going to be in Cleveland (remember Cleveland? down by Chattanooga?) Friday and Saturday, July 20th and 21st, so we decided to drive on down there for the Friday concert. It's about a 3-1/2 hour drive, but would be well worth it to see the Crabbs.

Of course, the concert was not until Friday evening, but we decided to go early in the morning, and go on down to Dalton, Georgia (about 45 minutes south of Cleveland). Dalton is the "Carpet Capital of the World", so we wanted to go check them out since we're going to be in the market. Dalton has about 45,000 people in it, but it has about 100 carpet manufacturers there (about 95% of the world's carpet manufacturing), and it has about 200 outlet stores. We were told that the stretch of Interstate 75 between Chattanooga and Atlanta is the most travelled section of that highway, because everyone from the South goes down there to look at carpet. We couldn't believe it when we got there. Of course, there are outlet stores everywhere!! And the prices are amazing. We may or may not buy our carpet down there, since we would have to get it back here ourselves. However, it was good to know the prices of our favorite carpet -- info Michael will no doubt use to grind down the local merchants! ;-)

It's good to be in the South, except for one very important thing. We have had really bad Mexican food everywhere we go! We've tried the restaurants all over (Tri-Cities area, Cleveland, Nashville), and they serve this crazy hamburger and tomato sauce kind of food! Yuck! There are even Spanish-speaking Mexicans working there, but I want to ask them if they've forgotten their heritage. Well, several weeks ago, we were talking to a real estate agent in Chattanooga who was originally from California (and had the same Mexican food tastes that we do). He said that whenever he needs a fix, he goes down to the authentic taquerias in Dalton (there's a big Hispanic population there). I remembered that when we went there, so we immediately began looking for a taqueria. We happened to drive down a particular road and I said "right there". There was a little crummy block building that frankly looked a little scary. However, we saw a Mexican couple go in, and so we decided to give it a shot. When we walked in to this little place (about 10'x15'), there was the Mexican couple and the server -- they were both looking at us like we definitely walked into the wrong place. The server walked over to us and said "umm, the menus are in Spanish", like if we knew that we would walk out. I replied to her, in Spanish, and said, "that's ok, we read Spanish, and this is what we want." I don't think that had ever happened to her before! ;-) We ordered their Tacos Al Pastor, and we thought we'd died and gone to heaven! These are not the Taco Bell kind of tacos -- these are the authentic kind! After we ate, we talked to the server for a while, and then we asked her if they would like to move to Kingsport, TN, that we'd help them put in a taqueria! She didn't quite know how to answer that. ;-) But this has gotten us seriously thinking about either putting in or causing to be put in a REAL Mexican restaurant here. We'll see. We just HAVE to have our fix!

OK, back to the Crabbs now (bet you thought I forgot, huh?). We went a little early and had to stand in line (it was "general seating"). But we were pretty close to the door, so when they opened it, we were able to go down to about the 5th row. Ohmigosh, their music was incredible! They are so very powerful and have an incredible stage presence. They also did a cool video retrospective of their 15 or so years in the business. It was very emotional for them, then they immediately had to start singing. I'm not sure how they did that.
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The concert was so good that on the way out, I asked Michael, "Would you want to stay over and go to the concert tomorrow night too?" He looked at me like I was crazy (what??), but then he said Yes! So we went ahead and bought our tickets, then headed out to find a hotel room. I didn't think that would be a problem since we had seen several motels in Cleveland when we were down there before. However, all those other hundreds of people at the concert were also staying in motels (duh!), so it wasn't that easy. We drove from one motel to the next, and each one said No Vacancy. We finally found a motel that had a couple of rooms left, but the problem was, they knew it -- they charged probably twice as much as they normally would have. Oh well, we were already committed at that point. After we got a room, we headed over to good ol' Walmart. We had to buy a toothbrush, toothpaste, and other bare necessities. We were just going to wear our same clothes, and I went without makeup the 2nd day (can you imagine??). But it was a fun adventure. We just hung out the 2nd day -- we had both brought books to read. Then I went early to stand in line again. UGH! It was very hot and very humid, but I had to do it to get good seats, so I did it!

A Swedish Radio Star

I had gone to stand in line at the outside door before they finally opened that up and we waited at the inside door. Michael had been out in the truck most of that time, but he relieved me when we got inside. I was so hot, I had to go sit over on a couch over in the corner. While I was sitting there, these two guys came up to me, and one stuck out his hand and introduced himself. I thought that was a little funny, but I introduced myself back. He then started asking me if I had been to a Crabb concert before, so I started telling him how we were new to the South but loved this music, etc. He said that mine was a very interesting story, and would I mind being interviewed on the subject, speaking into their microphone. And, of course, I said "sure". Come to find out, these two guys were roving reporters for Christian radio in SWEDEN! They were very interested in the Crabb Family, since they play their music over in Sweden (!), and they flew over to the US just for this event. They had never visited the US before, and were heading back out in a couple of days. Anyway, I was interviewed for quite a while, talking about not only the Crabbs, but Southern Gospel, and international Christian radio as well. I told them about our friend, Perry Atkinson, who was on the Board of United Christian Broadcasters (who they had heard of), and about the challenges they have encountered with Christian radio all over Europe. It was a very interesting conversation. So some day in the near future, my voice will appear on some Swedish radio station talking about the Crabbs -- what a kick!!

Anyway, the concert the second night was great too. Crabb_Family_016.jpgThey even had the nearby Lee University choir come in to accompany Jason Crabb in his Dove Award-winning song, "I'm Amazed" -- it was an experience I'll never forget. What a great adventure!

In Our New Home

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Well, we closed on our house on July 31st, so it's finally ours. Michael started in right away tearing off the bazillion feet of wallpaper all over the house (what a job!). He also mowed the 1.2 acres for the first time (also a job!). I asked him if he was regretting our decision, but he said, "no way". We do love the house, and we're glad to finally be there. It will be months, though, before all the remodeling is done and we can live like normal people. Now that I'm there, I was able to take some good pics of the place. I put pics of the front and back on my photosite. (All the new pics start at #28). I also took pics of the inside, but I'll wait to show you those when I publish my "before and after" pics.

I'm looking forward to going to Medford in a week and a half, and getting our stuff (including my little car! I've missed it!). But we're just going to move in what we need, and put the other half of the stuff into storage out here. We might as well not have it in our way when Michael's trying to do the remodeling.

I'll write again after our trip to Medford (and our second cross-country drive!).

Posted by semitte 13:32 Comments (2)

Tennessee, My New Home!

-17 °C

We Found It!

Well, the last time I wrote, we were struggling to figure out where it was that we were supposed to live. Guess what? We found it! But first, let me give you some background...

As we came to realize that Knoxville wasn't it, and neither was Nashville, we realized that the Lord was going to have a surprise for us somewhere -- something we were not expecting. When we went to Chattanooga and Cleveland, we thought that might be it -- but it wasn't. We were getting a bit confused, wondering where else we could go. Were we supposed to go to North Carolina? Kentucky? Was there anywhere else in Tennessee to go?

One thing that concerned us was that in all those other places, it was pretty hot and muggy! (surprise!) But the one thing we liked about Asheville, North Carolina when we visited there was the weather. It's at a higher elevation and has more moderate weather. But we didn't really care for Asheville overall, so that wasn't the answer either.

If you have an atlas like ours, Tennessee takes four pages -- the western half on two pages, and the eastern half on the next two pages. The eastern edge of the eastern two pages kinda ends with Knoxville. But on the bottom of those pages, they show a little box with the northeastern triangle in it. If you don't know what I'm talking about, here's a map of Tennessee.

Anyway, Michael looked at the map and saw that northeast corner -- the Kingsport, Johnson City, Bristol area. It's in the Appalachians and is at a higher elevation like Asheville -- after all, it's only about an hour north of there. So we decided to drive up to the northeast corner and check out the Tri-Cities Area (that's what they call the Johnson City/Kingsport/Bristol triangle).

This area is beautiful -- very hilly, trees everywhere, and a river runs through it. And the weather is very moderate. Over the last couple of weeks, the temperature has usually gotten up to the mid-80's, while the rest of the country is experiencing temperatures over 100. But the winters are also mild -- it rarely snows here and usually just gets down to the high 20's. A thunderstorm will occasionally develop in the afternoons, but it comes and goes, and it doesn't get too muggy.

Each of the three cities are just about 10-15 miles from each other, so they're really like one big metropolitan area. Actually, the larger metro area contains about 500,000 people, so there's a lot going on around here.

Search for a House

We started looking for a house in Johnson City, the largest of the three cities. But we were having trouble finding the kind of place we were looking for, so we started looking in Kingsport. Kingsport is right on the Virginia border. We found a great house there and so we bought it! Actually, we're closing on the house at the end of July, so right now we're just waiting.

OK, so let me tell you about the house. It's over 4000 square feet, with 3200 of that on the main floor (the other 800 is in a finished basement). And it's on about 1.2 acre, consisting of a large hilly yard, and lots of trees. It was an executive custom home built in the early 70's. It has a contemporary "California" look to it, which is in contrast to many of the brick colonials in this area. But it doesn't have a California or Oregon price -- we bought it for probably a third of what we would have had to pay for it in Medford. It's very well-built, but just needs some updating. Of course, that's what Michael likes to do, and we like to make our houses look like us, so that works out well. But right now, we're just waiting, and in between, making trips to Home Depot and Lowe's to figure out what we're going to do to the place.

As of August 1st, our new address will be 2101 Westwind Drive, Kingsport TN 37660. I don't have any pictures yet, but when I do, I'll be sure to share.

Search for a Church

This is a little out of sequence, but an important part of our decision to purchase this particular house was whether or not we would find the right church. We looked at this house on a Friday, and immediately fell in love with it. But before we would make an offer on it, we had to identify a church that we would go to. We asked our realtor what church in the area is the most dynamic large church around, and he told us Higher Ground Baptist Church, so that's where we went that Sunday. When we walked in, we formed the usual uninformed first impressions in our minds, although we didn't talk to each other about our thoughts. But as soon as the service started, and the choir started out with this incredibly powerful anthem, we instantly knew that we were in the right place. And as the service continued, it was confirmed minute by minute. The funny thing was, the pastor was on vacation that day, so we didn't even get to hear him speak! But it didn't matter. The Lord was very clear that this was the place, and gave us total peace that we were supposed to put an offer on that house and go to that church. So we made the offer on Monday. It was so exciting to see how the Lord led us to exactly where He wanted us, and that He made it joyfully obvious to us. We were wondering during the more frustrating moments whether or not we would clearly "get the message", but He didn't let us down!

Other Fun Stuff

We started learning about the Tri-Cities area, and the first order of business was figuring out where we would go for the July 4th festivities. We found out that THE place to go for the 4th was a little town down the road called Rogersville [by the way, that's pronounced Rahjs-vuhl ;-) ]. They had various musical groups all day, along with the usual food and kids activities. The temperature was in the mid-80's. We took our camping chairs and kicked back -- it was a great day. One of the guests was some state senator (?), but what was cool was that he started out by quoting scripture and talking about our freedom in this country and in the Lord. Then one of the musical groups was the praise band from one of the local churches. Ah, the Bible Belt!! :-) The headliner that evening was the country singer John Michael Montgomery. He put on a good show. The fireworks was probably one of the best we've ever seen, rivaling even the fireworks in Portland. And Rogersville is a very small town. Cool, huh?

MORE Fun Stuff

I have to admit, this last year I was totally hooked on American Idol, and followed those kids' progress faithfully. I had mentioned to Michael that during our travels we ought to follow where they were doing their summer show, and see if we could go to one. Frankly, I had forgotten about that, but something came to my mind last week, so I looked up their schedule. This was on Monday, and I saw that they were going to be in Nashville on Wednesday. I was amazed to find out that there were still good tickets left, so we decided to go. Since we were going to Nashville anyway, we decided to go to the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum (CMHFM) too.

We went directly to the CMHFM -- it was very interesting to see the history of country music (the founding of which they attribute to Bristol, part of the Tri-Cities). I didn't take a lot of pictures because I realized I was low on battery power -- so I just took a picture of one of the more interesting items in there -- the inside of Elvis's gold cadillac.
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I would recommend that everyone go to the CMHFM some day. I'm not really a huge country music fan, but I found it very much a part of all of our American heritage.

Part of the tour also consisted of riding a bus over to Music Row and going to RCA Studio B. It's not really a working studio any more, but they do tours there. That's where hundreds of the old recording stars recorded their music, including Elvis, of course (he recorded over 200 of his songs there), Eddy Arnold, Jim Reeves, etc. It was very interesting, and the history just reeked out of the walls.

After we left the facility, we walked around downtown Nashville, along Broadway. We saw a lot of famous bars and saloons, like Tootsie's Orchid Lounge, Coyote Ugly, BB Kings, Wildhorse Saloon, and more. Of course, it was during the day, so there wasn't a lot of activity, but it was interesting seeing them -- and frankly, it was probably just as well. We also saw Roy Acuff's Record Store. I had to go inside to see if, in fact, they still had records -- and they did! Then finally we had a pulled pork dinner at Jack's BBQ. Yum!

The MOST Fun Stuff!!

So it's time to go to the Arena. I could tell by the ticket designation that we had some decent seats, but I had no idea how good until we went in. Ohmigosh! Our seats were in the center, the 4th row from the stage!! We had a fantastic view of the whole thing. How cool is that??

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The show was awesome, and it was so fun to see those 10 AI kids. It lasted over 3 hours (with an intermission in there), and they all did an outstanding job. I took a lot of pictures (I bought new batteries downtown!), and you can go to my photosite to see just a few of them. (See the important note about my photosite at the bottom of the page).

Our Plans Going Forward

Some of you may be wondering -- is the travelling over now that you have a house? No way! We're still going to continue with our travel plans. As I said, we'll get into the house August 1st, and we'll start prepping the house for the remodel. However, we'll just be a couple of weeks there, then we're going to fly out to Medford to get our stuff (did you read that, Medford friends??!!!). Actually, Michael wanted to go out to our storage facility to get his tools and tile saw and stuff to do the house. Then we thought, well we might as well bring a truckful of stuff back (we have a good two truckfuls out there), and tow my VW back here. One thing led to another, and our son Matt volunteered to fly up to Medford and help us drive a second truck out. Our other son Scott wanted to get in on the fun too, but he's occupied with the Army that week. It will be fun, though, to spend the week travelling with Matt. When we get here, Scott is going to drive over (we're only about 4 hours away from him), and he will help us unpack.

We'll be flying out Wednesday, August 15th, and leaving with our trucks on Wednesday, August 22nd. I hope to be able to see everyone in Medford while I'm there. And I'll be at church on Sunday -- Trevor even said I could sing on the Worship Team (Yes! I'm needing that fix!!).

Regarding the other travel, we're still going to head to Louisville for the Gospel Music Convention in mid-September. From there we're going to Lancaster PA again (to go to the Sight and Sound Theater for my birthday). Then we'll head up to Maine and work our way down through the northeastern states, seeing the fall colors. By the way, when we tell people around here that we're going up north to see the colors, they look at us like we're crazy. I guess they have tons of hardwood around here and the colors are dazzling here too. I guess we'll miss that this year, but we'll have many more years to see it. Whenever we get back from those travels, we'll continue to work on our house.

My Photosite

I was informed by my photosite that they are going to be shutting down in September. UGH! That means I had to find another photosite. Unfortunately, I'm going to have to rebuild all my prior pictures (double UGH!), but I decided to go ahead and at least post my new pictures and send them along. So when you click this photosite link, it will take you to Shutterfly. I think it will ask you if you want to sign up, but you don't have to to see my pictures. I'm going to have to give you a link every time, so if you happen to have my photosite url saved, delete it. In case you want to go back to see my previous pictures, I'm going to be working on reloading all of it, and I'll let you know when it's ready to be seen.

Jes' Hangin' 'Round

I don't expect I'll blog again until we get back from Medford. After all, there's only so much I can write about hanging around here at the KOA campground!

Just a reminder -- if you feel like giving me a call, I still have my Medford cell number (541-941-6617). (Hint, hint).

Later....

Posted by semitte 13:06 Comments (0)

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